New York City councilman Jimmy Van Bramer marries partner of 13 years
July 30, 2012
This weekend, wedding bells rang for Jimmy Van Bramer and Dan Hendrick, Queens residents who have been together for 13 years. Van Bramer, who has lived in Queens his entire life, has served on the New York City Council since 2009, while Hendrick works for an environmental advocacy group, the New York League of Conservation Voters. The couple married on Saturday night in Long Island City.
The New York Times profiled the couple in the wedding announcement on Sunday, chronicling how they first met:
Mr. Hendrick and Mr. Van Bramer met in May 1999 at a fund-raiser for a gay community center in Queens. Mr. Van Bramer, having just arrived, went to the bar for a glass of wine when he looked up and saw Mr. Hendrick. "He was this handsome redhead with glasses," Mr. Van Bramer recalled. "I just kind of said to myself ‘Who is that?' "
Mr. Hendrick was soon chatting with the man who had invited Mr. Van Bramer to the fund-raiser, leading Mr. Van Bremer to assume that the two were dating. A short time later, the friend told Mr. Van Bramer that he was not dating Mr. Hendrick, and he had more good news: Mr. Hendrick had asked about Mr. Van Bramer ("Who is the guy in the suit?").
Mr. Van Bramer approached Mr. Hendrick and very soon began a mental survey of his new acquaintance.
"As we were standing there talking, I went through my checklist," Mr. Van Bramer said. "I thought, ‘He's good looking, he's smart, he's employed and he's able to talk about politics.' He met every one of my requirements."
Van Bramer and Hendrick join thousands of other same-sex couples who have married in New York since July 24, 2011, when the freedom to marry officially took effect. Last week, Freedom to Marry profiled seven couples who celebrated a wedding in New York in the past year, which you can take a look at here. We spoke with Christine Quinn, New York City Council Speaker, who married longtime partner Kim Catullo in May and are thrilled to see more City Council members benefit from New York's new marriage law by tying the knot.
In a statement to the press, the couple vowed to work toward marriage for all couples in the United States, expressing a commitment to ending discrimination nationwide. The statement reads:
We are overjoyed that so many family and friends witnessed our wedding Saturday night. For over 13 years we have been in a committed and loving relationship, yet before marriage equality passed last year, we were denied the right to marry one another. At this time, we are grateful for our loving families, friends, and the numerous neighbors, constituents and even complete strangers who wished us well on our union. Our happiness at having fulfilled our dream of getting married knows no bounds. We are grateful to live in a State and City that recognize that we are equal and should not be discriminated against. And we'll redouble our efforts to make sure that all Americans can get married to the one they love.